One of the best things about my job is that I get to laugh a lot. When one sits in the stylist’s chair, the various goings-on of the past few weeks come pouring out, often with a great deal of shared humor. But the one thing that all of my clients seem to have a great sense of humor about is their curls. This, to me, is no coincidence.
When one grows up as a curly kid, we get noticed because of it. From adults it is usually favorable (until you reach a certain age and a few people get it into their head that curls aren’t “appropriate” for a grown, professional woman or man). From fellow children it can be a mix that ranges from envy to curiosity to taunting. A lot is often assumed about the kid with curly hair—she/he’s going to be a bit quirkier, a bit nuttier. When you get older and start getting real haircuts, you get used to hearing the phrases “it will grow out” and “it doesn’t look that bad, honey.” You might cry a bit, but you learn to toughen up after a few of these haircuts and roll with the punches, as it were.
As an adult, your hair is often one of the first indicators used to describe you. You are often known as the “friend with the curls.” At this point, if you have grown to not only accept but love your hair, you wear this label with pride. If you then find a stylist who understands and respects curls, you will eventually relay your entire hair history to her. And if she also has curls she’ll relay her own stories right back to you. But we all do this with a knowing look and a slightly sarcastic grin. This is a common, shared history.
When people ask me about my clients, one of the first things I think of to describe them as a whole is “personality.” Each one of my clients has one or several hair horror stories to tell, and I in turn will share my own. Laughing and joking about it helps us realize that in the end we are the ones victorious, for we have thrown down the round brush and flat iron, looked our crazy, curly self right in the mirror and laughed our head off in celebration.